University of Edinburgh students detained during year abroad in Egypt

The University of Edinburgh has told nine students on a year abroad in Egypt to return home, after two were arrested in the country.

Friday, 11th October 2019, 11:29 am

Two of the Edinburgh university's third-year students were detained by Egyptian authorities in Cairo.

Both were released, but the reason for their arrests has still not been confirmed, according to student newspaper The Tab.

The university said its students studying in Egypt have arrived safely back in the UK, or 'are in the process of leaving'.

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The university said its students studying in Egypt have arrived safely back in the UK, or 'are in the process of leaving'. Picture: Boon Low on Flickr

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A spokesman for the university said: “Two of our students in Egypt were recently detained and subsequently released by the Egyptian authorities in Cairo. The University is obviously very concerned when it hears of incidents such as this, particularly when they involve our own students.

"We have a responsibility to act in the best interests of our students and to take decisive action when there are concerns for their safety and wellbeing. We therefore required all nine of our students in Egypt to leave the country. All students have now left Egypt.

"We are working closely with the students to minimise the impact of any disruption to their studies and to provide alternative placements. Our students were studying at two Institutions: The American University of Cairo and the International Language Institute, Cairo (ILI).

"The students are undertaking different Arabic degrees programmes, some of them single honours and others joint honours with other subjects.

"The intended length of time to be spent studying in Egypt varied for each of the students.”

All students have been questioned by the Foreign Office and Egyptian authorities.

Egypt has seen a rise in government crackdowns on suspected anti-government activists and protesters in the past two months.

More than 3,000 people have been arrested since September 20 due to protests against Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.

The University of Edinburgh has been contacted by The Scotsman for comment.